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MONKEYPOX: Increase in Virus cases reported in Europe - Analysis

MONKEYPOX: Increase in Virus cases reported in Europe - Analysis
Posted By GEO´ Newsteam - Gibraltar

Monkeypox virus cases have now been reported in the UK, Europe, US, Canada & Australia. The latest being France, Italy and Sweden. The initial case was reported by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) on 7 May, the patient having recently travelled to Nigeria, where they are believed to have caught the virus before travelling to England according to the UK Health Security Agency said.

On 14 May 2022, two more cases were identified in the UK, both living in the same household, but with no recent history of travel and no contact with the case reported on 7 May. A further four cases were confirmed by UKHSA on 16 May, also without recent travel history to endemic areas, and were not contacts of the cases reported on 7 and 14 May. All cases reported on 16 May were men self-identifying as men who have sex with men (MSM).  

Additionally, on 18 May, Portugal reported five confirmed cases of Monkeypox, and more than 20 suspected cases. All cases were young men, and all in the Lisbon and Tagus Valley. Spain has also reported eight suspected cases. 

What is Monkeypox - Background?

Defined by the World Health Organisation (WHO) - Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis (a virus transmitted to humans from animals) with symptoms very similar to those seen in the past in smallpox patients, although it is clinically less severe. With the eradication of smallpox in 1980 and subsequent cessation of smallpox vaccination, Monkeypox has emerged as the most important orthopoxvirus for public health. Monkeypox primarily occurs in Central and West Africa, often in proximity to tropical rainforests and has been increasingly appearing in urban areas. Animal hosts include a range of rodents and non-human primates.

Monkeypox virus is an enveloped double-stranded DNA virus that belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus of the Poxviridae family. There are two distinct genetic clades of the Monkeypox virus – the Central African (Congo Basin) clade and the West African clade. The Congo Basin clade has historically caused more severe disease and was thought to be more transmissible. The geographical division between the two clades has so far been in Cameroon - the only country where both virus clades have been found. Learn More/ ...Register Free to receive our full analysis direct to your inbox or smart device

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